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Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

One Bad Apple...

Posted: April 25, 2006  By James Molesworth

My friends went to dinner the other night and ordered the ’99 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the sommelier. The sommelier then presented a bottle of ’00 without noting the difference in vintage.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

More Half Bottles!

Posted: April 25, 2006  By James Suckling

From all of your comments , half bottles are a good thing. AND I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. What you should consider is buying en primeur, or futures, of Bordeaux, Port and anything else on offer. This usually enables you to order what bottle size you want, from mega sizes such as imperials to half bottles.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Tastings and Test Drives

Posted: April 24, 2006  By James Laube

Two items have risen to the top of today’s to-do list. No. 1 is work-related -- wrapping up our annual Chardonnay report. It is by far the easier of the two assignments. Each year, I taste roughly 400 new Chardonnays.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

A16 Chef Leaves

Posted: April 24, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Christophe Hille has left his position as chef of A16, one of the hottest Italian restaurants in San Francisco. I featured him in my recent Wine Spectator survey on Italian cuisine in the United States.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

How Big IS That Wine List?

Posted: April 24, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

I get a chuckle out of restaurants that play games with the design of their menus and wine lists. They surround certain items with frames, or print them in bigger type, the typographical equivalent to waving their arms and hollering, "Pick me!" I always wonder if they're doing it to guide us to the best stuff or the most profitable.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Items From Down Under

Posted: April 24, 2006  By James Molesworth

A few items from my beats… • At Matetic , which has been impressive in its first few years, another young winemaker is taking over. Paula Cardenas, 33, will be replacing Rodrigo Soto when the harvest finishes up.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Half Bottle Magic

Posted: April 23, 2006  By James Suckling

Just me and my children last night for dinner. I decide to throw a “bisteccca” on the grill and toss a simple green salad. And I wasn’t about to drink water with it! So I went down to my cellar and tried to find a half bottle.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

La Barberia Moderna

Posted: April 22, 2006  By James Suckling

Went to the barber this morning in our nearby village of San Giustino Valdarno with my son Jack. (He didn’t like his haircut. Too short!). It was about 10 am in the morning, sunny and warm already. I think that the wet weather is finally ending and spring is definitely here.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Bush Tours Napa Valley

Posted: April 21, 2006  By James Laube

President Bush is arriving in Napa Valley today, and this appears to be the first visit to the area by a sitting president. (Our research didn’t turn up any other solid leads.) The president is scheduled for a sleepover at Meadowood, the resort near St.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Patrick Valette Branches Out In Chile

Posted: April 21, 2006  By James Molesworth

Patrick Valette has recently been hired to consult with Chile’s Viña Santa Rita. Valette, whose family once owned Château Pavie in St.-Emilion, now lives in Chile and is consulting for a number of wineries, including Viña Quebrada de Macul, TerraMater, Viñedos J.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Northstar Branches Out Beyond Merlot

Posted: April 21, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

Northstar , which started out as a Merlot-only winery, is expanding into other varietals, and those new wines just might overshadow the Merlot. I stopped by the winery on a recent visit to Washington to taste and chat with Jed Steele, the California-based winemaker who has consulted on Northstar since its inception in 1994.

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Mission Statement

Posted: April 21, 2006  By James Molesworth

There are many winemakers who run their domaines and work their vineyards personally, handcrafting their wines. They are driven by one tenet – to produce the highest quality wine they can. Typically these winemakers do not have the spare time needed to work the marketplace.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Words on 2005 Bordeaux

Posted: April 20, 2006  By James Suckling

Spoke to Christian Moueix on the telephone this afternoon. His family is the powerhouse in Right Bank Bordeaux wines, controlling such great names as Pétrus, Lafleur Petrus, Trotanoy and Magdelaine--among others.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Cutworms and Botrytis

Posted: April 20, 2006  By James Laube

“It’s gonna be a great year for cutworms and botrytis,” my friend C.J., a Rutherford-based vineyard manager said, tongue in cheek. And that was last week, before it rained again over the weekend.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Has Washington's Syrah King Found Côte-Rôtie in Walla Walla?

Posted: April 20, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

The beat-up red SUV bounces and sways as winegrower Christophe Baron pilots it over a creaky bridge and into the mud left by recent rains. I take inventory of the dashboard: an old pair of sunglasses, a ballpoint pen, a round can of Altoids, a strip of flannel cloth.

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

Why This Blog?

Posted: April 20, 2006  By Harvey Steiman

As a journalist all my life, I live to spread the word about something I know that you might not. I spent the first 20 years of my career in daily journalism, where the word gets out fast. That's why I am excited about blogging.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Birthday Bottle

Posted: April 19, 2006  By James Suckling

I just finished lunch at the restaurant below my house in Il Borro. It was the birthday of my colleague Jo Cooke, and I decided to try to find something special in my cellar to drink with him. I knew that Jo was a big fan of Léoville Las Cases.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

The Star At Blankiet

Posted: April 18, 2006  By James Laube

I paid my first visit to Blankiet Estate last week, on one of the rare days this spring when the sun was shining brightly in Northern California. This is the ambitious new vineyard and winery owned by Claude and Katherine Blankiet, with the viticulture and winemaking being overseen by Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Barbera Easter Sunday

Posted: April 16, 2006  By James Suckling

Returned from a walk in the countryside with my two dogs and my 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter. My childern are visiting from England. We had a simple lunch for Easter Sunday–fettuccine all’Alfredo (cream, butter and parmesan sauce) and tomato salad.

Blogs  :  James Suckling Uncorked

Tuscan Car Wash

Posted: April 14, 2006  By James Suckling

Just got back from washing my car. It was about 75 degrees today and sunny. The vines are starting to grow in my area near Arezzo in Tuscany. Anyway, I was talking to the old guy who was helping me dry my car and he was saying how he made fantastic wines from the 500 vines he has near the gas station in the next-door village of Castiglion Fibocchi.

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